RSA preparing for their own centennial

Jill Williams and Graeme Kempton are two of the five members to freshly fill roles in the club.
JANE MATTHEWS/STUFF

Jill Williams and Graeme Kempton are two of the five members to freshly fill roles in the club.

The association that prides itself on being a "friendly place to come" will be celebrating its 100th year next year. 

The South Taranaki Returned and Services Association (RSA) members are preparing for the centennial in 2018 and looking at their current successes. 

President Graeme Kempton said there were a few birthday celebrations in the pipeline. 

"We have what we're calling a centennial project, which we hope to establish an area of remembrance," Kempton said. 

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"We'd like it to be there forever." 

Jill Williams, the association's treasurer, said they were looking at launching a book on their history too.

"We're not just here to drink, we're here for other things as well," Williams said.

The RSA is very social and sees more than 40 people come through on a Friday night for their weekly raffles. They currently have 321 members. 

Kempton said it's a very diverse club, "from a new born, right through to the edge of the grave". 

Williams said that's just the sort of RSA it is. 

"In my case, I have four generations here on a Friday night," she said. "I have my mother, my daughter, and her two kids." 

The club had recently re-elected the executive committee - Kempton and Williams being two of the five newly elected members in their roles. 

"In the last 14 years I've done virtually every job from committee to treasurer, junior vice-president, senior vice president, and moved on to president this year," Kempton said. 

"I believe, and we haven't had it disputed, that I'm probably the first associate member that's ever been president in this club in its 100 years in existence." 

Kempton said five of the 12 roles were freshly filled. One seemed to be another first for the club - Leeanne Railton, a woman in the role of junior vice-president

"That's the first time in my recollection," Kempton said. 

The club has taken part in organising the Soldier's Day, which will be held August 20, and have a parade for the public at 11am.

The parade will run in a circuit around Hawera streets - Nelson Street, Union Street, High Street and Princes Street back to the RSA.

 - Stuff

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